Edenton residents urged to support short-term rentals


Wednesday, May 8, 2019

I would like to submit a request for an editorial: A statement to the members of the town council on the purposed ordinance/regulations to be imposed on short term rentals in the town of Edenton. For those of you unaware, the town council is in the process of drafting ordinances (see the Town of Edenton website for details) for the citizens of our community who have chosen to use their property for the purpose of short term rental (less than 29 consecutive days).

There have been no out cry of citizens over inappropriate usage of properties or claims of properties/renters being a nuisance. Regardless, there is now an attempt in motion to place restrictions and bureaucratic red tape to make it difficult for one to use one's property as a short term rental. I would implore the town council to rethink their decision. STRs are not a problem/threat/liability to the town, and this attack on them is unwarranted.

With regard to aesthetics and property values surrounding, there are intrinsic accountability measures within the industry to maintain pristine dwellings. Long term rentals and boarding houses have no such measures, and that is why there are numerous ones falling down throughout the northern part of town. If anything, STRs fall within the mission of our town to preserve and restore homes.

With regard to town economics, STRs draw people to Edenton. Individuals searching for a STR are not giving consideration to a hotel or B&B. They are literally searching for STR opportunities and basing their travel plans on where to stay. If there are no STR opportunities in Edenton, then that business will simply move to Hertford, Elizabeth City, or simply out into the county.

Finally, I would play the patriotic card and simply claim this attempt is "unAmerican." This attempt to stifle entrepreneurship and limit citizens on how they are allowed to use their property is simply wrong. Edenton/Chowan County property owners already pay some of the highest taxes in all of North Carolina.

Further restriction of property utilization does not protect our town, rather it wards off potential growth and investment. It would seem that these actions are either evidence of our town council having a solution in search of a problem, or there is unnecessary corporate welfare at play.

There have been no complaints from citizens over noise, parking, poor maintenance, etc of STRs throughout our city, so the need to put ordinances in place has never actually been an issue to protect our citizens. Furthermore, if this is an attempt to stifle the progress of STR owners in a biased effort to clear the way for the Bed and Breakfast owners, then it is a blatant act of corporate welfare. STR owners are not a kin to Walmart, and people choosing to stay with them is no less a "Shop Local" effort than staying at a Bed and Breakfast.

The majority of STR owners in Edenton are citizens of Edenton, and attempts to give other citizens advantage over others is not only unfair, but an unnecessary usage of the power you have been entrusted with to govern us all.

Bryan Bunn